The British Parliamentary System has taken centuries to develop; we’ve moved from autocratic monarchy to constitutional monarchy and from a point where the power rested with hereditary peers to those elected by the people, for the people.
The evolution of our system has been far from perfect but we are now in the privileged position where approximately every four to five years, we are given the chance to tell our government they’ve either done a good job, or they’ve failed us spectacularly. Power essentially rests with the people.
This is what we were also told when David Cameron spoke outside Number 10 and told us all that “the choice is in your hands” when it came to leaving the European Union. The British people were told that the Prime Minister’s recommendation was that we remain but that ultimately it was up to us to decide.
But now it seems that it doesn’t matter what we think. What seems to matter is what politicians think because at the end of the day, they seem to think that they know better than us.
17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. It was the biggest mandate in British political history. Yet now we find our Parliamentary system struggling to come to terms with what their people have told them.
In his resignation speech yesterday, Philip Lee, the former Justice Minister who dramatically compared the Brexit vote to the Death Penalty, said that:
“Sometimes when a majority of our people want something that is against the good of society, government and parliament has a responsibility to protect us.”
This was a classic example of politicians telling the British people what is truly best for them.
Mr Lee, as a Member of the House of Commons, is accountable to a constituency which voted to Leave the European Union and for that there will undoubtedly be some goodwill lost and his constituents will have the chance to remove him in a few years time.
But what about those we cannot remove?
The House of Lords is an appointed House and we, as the British people, have no power on their length of time in Parliament.
True, we may have moved from the times when hereditary peers dictated the future of the British people but what was the point of such an evolution if the current Lords pay as little attention to the people as their aristocratic predecessors.
Tomorrow, the House of Lords will be debating amendments to their own amendments that have been voted in the House of Commons throughout the course of this week.
The academics, civil servants, economists and political elites that permeate our unelected upper house will be presented with yet another opportunity to frustrate Brexit. The majority of them did not support Brexit and despite the referendum seem incapable of pragmatically looking for the best possible exit from the European Union.
The Lords believe that keeping us tied to the European Union is what is “best” for society but they are blindly unaware that this is not why people voted to leave. 17.4 million voted ticking one box; “out.”
We have voted, we were told there would be one vote and that would be the final decision. We made the decision to leave and now our Parliament must honour this decision. The Lords that they cannot simply ignore the demands of the British people because “nanny knows best.”